DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is bidding farewell to 325 Delaware National Guard members as they prepare for a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan.
Markell will address the members of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion before they board a plane for Fort Bliss, Texas, on Friday morning.
The troops will spend 4 to 6 weeks training at Fort Bliss before deploying to Afghanistan, where they'll remain until next year.
The 198th is the Delaware Guard's oldest unit, known as "The First Regiment of the First State."
By the end of the year, about 750 of Delaware's 2,600 Army and Air National Guard members will have served either in Afghanistan or supporting the war nearby. That makes 2013 the busiest year for the Delaware Guard since Sept. 11, 2001.